At a glance
MBA Business Administration (Online)
|2 years (part-time)|
|Mode of study|
The Durham Online MBA programme will enhance your key business and leadership capabilities to enable you to achieve your career aspirations whilst you continue in full-time employment, so you can apply what you learn directly into the organisation you work for. You can study fully online, complete some of your learning at Durham, and personalise your programme. More
Flexibility is at the heart of the Durham Online MBA programme as you can personalise your programme to meet your career goals. You can study fully online, complete some of your learning at Durham, and undertake relevant optional modules.
The global spread of students, alumni and faculty will give you the ability to network virtually with people from across the world, and from a wide range of business sectors.
Online MBA in detail
Structured around a two year study calendar, you can choose to undertake the programme 100% online or take a blended approach where you combine your online learning with residential modules. Whichever way you choose, our comprehensive induction will equip you with an essential toolkit of study skills to help you prepare for your MBA.
DUO is our virtual learning environment and will be at the heart of your Online MBA experience. Through this, you’ll have 24/7 access to your learning materials including videos, industry insights and articles and will participate in a range of online activities that will help to immerse you in the subjects that you choose to study.
Connecting with other students is a key part of your learning experience and you will also benefit from joining live webinar sessions and taking part in tutor-facilitated group discussions via our online forum.
You will be expected to devote around 15 hours per week to study. Online modules are delivered over a 12 week period, including assessments.
Optional residential modules are offered in Durham at points throughout the year, bringing together students from around the world to provide support and inspiration to drive you forward. A study plan is provided for each cohort, and a programme team is available to help with module choices.
You will complete:
- Five core modules
- Two optional modules
- Strategic Case Analysis
Five core modules
These are the foundation of your programme – establishing the management knowledge, understanding and research skills every leader needs.
- Accounting, Finance and Economics
- Leading and Managing People
- Operations and Technology
- Strategic Management
Two optional modules
Depending on your career aspirations, you can either choose to study two optional modules that you find particularly interesting and most relevant to your future career.
Or alternatively, you can choose to study two modules within a structured pathway focusing on the area of entrepreneurship, consultancy or technology.
Modules on offer are dependent on demand, but in previous years have included:
- New Venture Creation
- Management Consultancy
- Project Management
- Business Analytics
- Technology Innovation
- International Business in Context
- Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation,
- Consultancy: Management Consultancy and Project Management, or
- Technology: Business Analytics and Technology Innovation
Strategic Case Analysis
The Strategic Case Analysis replaces the traditional university dissertation. It is an in-depth study of key organisational issues, which is more in keeping with the needs of business and management today. It is an opportunity to apply the knowledge you have acquired through core and optional modules to a project that is of relevance to you, for example in your own organisation, a supplier, a competitor or another organisation in the private, public or voluntary sector.
The Durham Online MBA Residential brings together students from across the globe to provide support and inspiration to drive you forward in your studies. These optional sessions give you the opportunity to attend modules at our world-class business school facilities in Durham, where you will have access to the very latest IT and library services. The Residential also includes speaker events, a variety of social events, and a truly unique opportunity to enjoy the Durham experience.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
The programme is structured around six core modules, plus a compulsory research methods module, with a further five elective module choices. This is followed by a 15,000-word dissertation to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework.
Residential modules involve four days of intensive lecture-based study, led by the module leader and supported by a course textbook and access to lecture materials on the virtual learning environment. Distance learning modules are delivered using specially written and recorded resources produced under the supervision of the module leader; students also benefit from access to a tutor throughout each module. The role of the tutor is to provide support at a distance (generally by email, but also by telephone or group discussion boards if appropriate) by providing feedback on formative assignments and being available for consultation and advice. Tutor support and feedback to the students is monitored by the module leader(s) responsible for overseeing module content, structure and delivery.
Students choosing either taught or distance learning routes also benefit from a virtual classroom experience in the form of live webinar sessions led by either the module leader or tutor for the module. This provides an opportunity for smaller groups of students to discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours.
In either route, lectures and learning resources provide key information on a particular topic, and identify main areas for discussion and debate within current managerial thinking. Students are further supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and through contact with an allocated supervisor. The role of the supervisor is to provide guidance in the formulation of the research methods and advice in its analysis and presentation as well as helping to inform the academic research process.
Students can also attend an annual Summer School held at Durham which offers a range of workshops based on modules in the programme in addition to career advice, guest speakers and networking opportunities. They also have the opportunity to attend an International Study Week at an overseas location, which offers the opportunity to learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, gain an ‘insider perspective’ on international businesses and network with key business staff.
Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake their own independent study in preparation for seminars, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All members of teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.
Students are welcomed and encouraged to visit the Business School at any time, both to resolve academic problems and to visit the Programme Office and use the School’s facilities.
Subject requirements, level and grade
- A minimum of three (preferably five) years' relevant work experience since graduation of a managerial nature.
- An Upper Second Class Bachelor Degree or international equivalent.
Lack of formal qualifications is not necessarily a barrier to admission; managerial experience is also a key consideration for entry to our Online MBA programme. In such cases, we may ask you to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating capability in areas such as management experience, including critical thinking skills and communication skills.
Additionally, candidates whose first language is not English will normally be required to demonstrate evidence of proficiency in English language as follows: a recent English language test score of 6.5 or above in IELTS with no element below 6.0, or 92 or above in TOEFL IBT with no element below 23.
This course includes online activities, you will need a computer with reliable internet access. Our recommended operating systems are Microsoft Windows 7+ or Apple Mac MacOSx 10.9+.
We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection but a greater bandwidth (up to 8Mbps) will provide a better experience for some resources and events. If relying on an employer’s internet connection, be aware that firewall restrictions and policies may exist that prevent access to all or part of the course.
You will need:
- Recommended web browser Windows: Internet Explorer 11+, Chrome 39+, Firefox 34+ MAC OSX: Safari 8+, Chrome 39+, Firefox 34+
- The ability to open and edit Microsoft Office documents (e.g. Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or access to Googledocs)
- Flash player
- Ability to open .pdf documents (e.g. Adobe Reader)
- A headset or headphones and microphone
To participate fully in some online events students should have a webcam and to access some tools and resources you may need the ability to install software.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete the online application form.
As well as your online application, please submit the following:
- Your CV or resume including: full details of previous employment, dates of employment, main duties and responsibilities, salary per annum (in £ sterling) and any periods of unemployment including dates and an explanation
- Two employer references
- Copy of your degree certificate (where appropriate)
- Copy of your English test results (where appropriate)
Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.
The maximum file size is 5MB.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£11,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£11,500.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£11,500.00 per year|
For EU students and non-EU students: £21,000
For EU students and non-EU students: £23,000
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Open Days and Visits
Changes to Business Administration (Online) (2019)
|Approved course detail amends.|
What our Graduates say
“The programme enabled me to further my knowledge on entrepreneurship, designing innovative products and to deliver a successful business pitch on an international scale.”
I chose Durham University because, firstly, it is one of the top ranked universities in the UK and worldwide and has a great academic reputation. Secondly, it gave me the option to choose modules that interested me most and were more best aligned to my personal interests and my career. Thirdly, there were modules that I could attend at the Business School in Durham and also abroad at other universities, for example the University of San Francisco.
A particular highlight was spending one week at the Business School in Durham, and one week at the University of San Francisco participating in the Silicon Valley Immersion Programme. During those weeks I had the opportunity to meet and learn from fantastic and interesting people from around the world with different work experiences and backgrounds to me. For me, it was a valuable aspect of the MBA programme.
The benefit acquired from the programme is the knowledge. Coming from a technical degree I had gaps in my management and business knowledge, which I needed to fill in order to advance my career. The Durham MBA has provided me with that knowledge. I am already looking at how I can apply the skills and knowledge the MBA has taught me in my current role.
I spent hundreds of hours researching and comparing top MBA programmes in Canada, the United States, and Europe before selecting Durham University Business School’s MBA. The programme exceeded all of my expectations and benefited me in ways I never expected.
Many elements of the Durham MBA contribute to making it an exceptional programme. Firstly, Durham University's storied past and prestigious rankings as well as the Business School's international reputation and accreditation-status are invaluable. Other programmes with comparable repute are significantly more expensive and the Durham MBA thus offers terrific value-for-money. Secondly, few other MBA programmes provide the opportunity to study in such a memorable setting. Durham itself is a historic, lively, and beautiful place which offers numerous distractions when you need a break from your studies. Thirdly, Durham's unique collegiate system ensures students feel connected to the school regardless of where they come from. Your college serves as your "home away from home" and facilitates participation in life as a Durham University student even if you're only on campus a handful of times per year. Finally, the Business School uniquely blends a modern corporate environment with Durham’s exceptional history. You’ll find yourself gazing at one of the world's greatest cathedrals literally minutes after a lecture in a state-of-the-art theatre, which is truly remarkable.
The entire MBA curriculum was challenging, relevant, and valuable. Campus-based modules offered terrific networking opportunities with classmates from around the world while online modules were well-supported by video lectures, discussion boards, and collaborative webinars. Elective classes were offered spanning subjects such as entrepreneurship and start-up businesses, management consultancy, strategy, corporate finance, and marketing. Given my desire to pursue a career in finance and investing I was able to focus my studies on the intricacies of capital markets, the realities of managerial and financial accounting practice, the complexities of raising and allocating capital, the appraisal of investment projects and financial securities, and the drivers of value and wealth creation. I became more strategic, analytical, and intelligent while studying for the degree and the MBA developed my communication, managerial, and technical competencies.
The Durham MBA helped me break into a highly competitive industry shortly after graduation. I attribute my career success largely to the knowledge, skills, and work ethic I gained while an MBA student. The Durham MBA was a transformative experience for me and studying at Durham University Business School is undoubtedly among the best decisions I've ever made.
I chose Durham because of the flexibility the course offered. Durham allows you to do some modules online and some on-site. No other programme at the time offered this flexibility. In addition, Durham University has a great reputation whilst remaining affordable.
A particular highlight was the very traditional graduation ceremony where we processed in our gowns from the castle to the cathedral (a World Heritage Site). Coming from Germany, this is not something I am used to.
I can say that doing the Durham MBA has changed my life. It significantly widened my professional horizon and made me think differently about companies, business problems and the economy in general. But I would also say that it requires 100% commitment and you need to be prepared to dedicate time to studying.
Why did you choose Durham University Business School?
I wanted to do my MBA at a world-class university with an excellent reputation, and the flexibility of the Online MBA appealed to me.
What were the main highlights of your degree?
Spending time in Durham with high-quality lecturers.
What would you say to someone thinking about studying your programme at Durham University Business School?
Don't hesitate. Do it and you won't regret it.
How will your studies help your future career?
It already has. I secured a new Managing Director role, and having an MBA was one of the criteria that helped me differentiate myself from other candidates.
What does achieving your degree and winning your prize mean to you?
Everything. Pride and a fantastic reward for the hard work involved in achieving my MBA.
What are your plans after graduation?
Applying the learning from my MBA on a daily basis and helping to coach and mentor my team. Hopefully I’ll encourage one or two to apply to DUBS.
I chose the Durham Online MBA to broaden my business networks and for my own personal and professional development.
The DUBS Online MBA blended learning approach is very attractive, allowing you to complete modules online or in a classroom environment. The classroom taught modules are great in providing an environment to meet fellow students and share knowledge and experience, and give you a network of colleagues around the world.
As with any study while you are in full-time employment, the Online MBA was challenging in time and effort, but it immediately proved relevant and valuable in my working environment, giving me the confidence to think differently and try new techniques in my daily work activities as well as introducing me to new subjects and topics that I would not otherwise have been exposed to.
The Online MBA will broaden your business network via working with fellow students, taking advantage of all DUBS industry connections, seminars where you can meet industry experts, business networking events and the ongoing benefits of the DUBS alumini network.
Since completing my MBA I have a new role with Philips Healthcare where I’ve been able to use the experience, knowledge and techniques I’ve gained to build and expand the business area.
I started my own business at 21 and lost it at 31, basically because I just didn’t know enough about running a business. I realised that being passionate isn’t enough; I needed to understand the academic theory behind it.
At that point I was working full-time, so the flexibility of the Online route was perfect; I could fit studying around all my other commitments. And even though it was online I still experienced a fantastic cultural mix. I was interacting with, and learning from, students from all over the world, which is incredibly valuable. And you have the opportunity to meet them in person if you choose to study one of the classroom-taught modules.
If you are considering an MBA and can attend an open day I would encourage you to do so. You will meet other people who are also nervous about returning to education and who have their own challenges to face.
The MBA was very challenging, but it was also one of the best experiences of my life. The support is fantastic, and there’s always someone to answer any questions you have.
I still have a passion to run my own business, and the MBA has given me the confidence to try again. This time, I have the knowledge and the skills to succeed.
Global Head of Transfer Pricing, Colfax Corporation and Global Tax Director, ESAB
Global MBA (Finance), graduating with Distinction
Whilst being born in the UK and living most of my life there, I have lived in Switzerland since 2007. In considering my options to complete an MBA I had to factor in my circumstances which included a young family, being recently married and work demands. I would not have wanted nor had the financial means to study full time and distance learning was the only real option. In terms of universities which provide this option, Durham stood out has having easily the best reputation and stature.
I had never worked via distance learning previously and I was a little sceptical as to how this would work and indeed, would the MBA actually feel like an MBA in completing in such means? I decided that I would first only complete one module to see how the process would work and was very surprised at first at how professional and efficient the learning system and resources were. Firstly the learning system of “duo” gave remote access to a wide number of superb resource databases. Secondly the quality of the learning materials was very high with recorded lectures in some parts to either watch/listen online at your convenience or download. Indeed there was a period during my studies where I travelled extensively, and downloaded these to my iPod to stream to the car to study whilst driving every day. On some core modules, physical attendance for an examination was required and here for me as an international student, again Durham had provided an effective option. I was able for a small fee, to complete my exams at the British Council in exam conditions in Bern.
The lack of human interaction is overcome by Student Discussion boards and like many things: “you get out what you put in”. If you engage with your tutor and fellow students, you are likely to learn and gain more. A student needs to be realistic and understand that an MBA must be earned and the prestige of holding an MBA comes partly from the fact that standards are high. Looking back, there are two modules which really stand out for me, in terms of student co-operation which proved to me that the distance learning process can work equally as well as physical contact.
Durham for me provided an excellent standard of learning, in a co-ordinated and professional manner and I am proud to have been associated with the course and the University. For those in a similar position to myself, in completing a course over 3-4 years you need to factor into your plan that a great deal can happen in that time which may impact your studies. In my case, moving twice and having two additional children and two new jobs. The one constant however was the enjoyable challenge of the MBA.
For many of the modules, I was able to relate the specific requirements to issues which impacted my employer of the time and in terms of some assignments I submitted, I was proud of the standard of these, using work access and the Duo resources to add academic and theoretical input. In the end I was able to achieve an MBA with Distinction.
I cannot specifically point to the MBA providing me with a new employment opportunity, but it has helped provide a wider commercial knowledge and business acumen which has assisted with my promotion to Global Head of Transfer Pricing whilst also holding a divisional Tax Director role for a US based multinational.
I have been working in the financial services industry for more than 12 years. I started my career as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers gaining a lot of insights and know-how in regulatory reporting and risk management. Two reasons triggered the decision to start an MBA. First, after several years of solving business problems I wanted to face another academic challenge. Second, the MBA should develop my strategic mind-set.
I searched for an esteemed business school with a very high academic reputation. Also I wanted to continue my professional career while studying so the university had to offer part-time study programmes. Durham matched all these requirements. Furthermore, the international composition of the MBA students attracted me. Last but not least, the partnership with the European Business School in Germany was also an appealing aspect.
The academic requirements of the MBA programme are rigorous. So I am very proud having finished the MBA with distinction. The MBA has honed my international mindset, leadership skills as well as strategic thinking. Now I am leading the risk management software solutions unit at BearingPoint, a leading consulting and technology firm, with direct responsibility for the people working there and the international business development. The Durham MBA learning experience gave me valuable input and skills fulfilling the complex requirements of my job.
DOWNLOAD YOUR MBA BROCHURE
"I became more strategic, analytical, and intelligent while studying for the degree and the MBA developed my communication, managerial, and technical competencies."
Travis Callaway MBA graduate
Your Durham MBA journey will challenge, inspire and provide you with business knowledge and experience which will enable you to enhance your career aspirations. It will also expand your network and further develop the capabilities you need to succeed in a dynamic and rapidly changing world.
NHS Online MBA
Durham is one of only seven institutions to have received recognition from the NHS Leadership Academy as a registered provider of the Online MBA. This programme is aimed at healthcare professionals seeking to further develop their leadership and management skills. Students from the NHS will join one of the two Online MBA cohorts which begin in April and October each year.
Flexibility is at the heart of the Durham Online MBA programme as you can personalise your programme to meet your career goals. You can study fully online or complete some of your learning at Durham, and you will undertake relevant optional modules to tailor your programme to fit your career needs.
For further information on the programme, please refer to our Online MBA here.
If you work for the NHS or an affiliated organisation in England, you could qualify for an automatic Business School scholarship covering 20% of tuition fees. Additionally, NHS Leadership Academy bursaries of up to £5,000 are also available for eligible applicants.
"The Online MBA was challenging, but it immediately proved relevant and valuable in my working environment, giving me the confidence to think differently and try new techniques."
"The MBA has already helped my career. I secured a new Managing Director role, and having an MBA was one of the criteria that helped me differentiate myself from other candidates."